You've graduated from all those long nights of studying. Hard work has paid off and you're either working your dream job (or not, but that's another story) or well into your career, putting your 100% effort in making your quarterly numbers and being highly respected amongst your peers and family. It's a great feeling, isn't it? IF you're able to balance your career with spending time with loved ones, and practicing healthy habits in the process, than kudos to you, for you are balancing your priorities while maintaining your health. Unfortunately, not all are in the mental state to invest time to their own health & wellness.
According to a recent study by Career Builder, more than 2 out of 5 workers have gained weight in their current job. To break down these percentages:
* women (49%) are more likely than men (39%) to report gaining unwanted weight
* while employees in corporations have access to exercise equipment (many in the facilities they work) and benefits, 55% of this group does NOT take advantage of it.
* When the subjects were asked what contributed to their weight gain, 53% says "sitting at a desk most of the day" was the main contributor, 45% "were too tired after work to exercise", and 36% of workers say they "eat a lot because of stress".
* the subjects for this particular study were 3,000 full-time U.S. workers.
The likelihood of these numbers provided are a mixture of things. Yes long days sitting at the office could be to blame, when stress levels both in and out of the workplace may contribute as well. The important question one must ask themselves is this; "what am I doing today to fix this gain"? Sure, they say easier said-than-done when a professional like myself does this for a living. I beg to differ.
Like many of my colleagues, clients & family, I lead a very busy life. I start my day around 4am (sometimes a little earlier), and see my morning clients. In addition to my busy times during morning, lunch and dinner, I run errands, in addition to set aside times to post blogs like these to keep my clients, peers and family engaged & invested in their goals as much as I do. I am ALL OVER THE PLACE. But while I do lead a busy life, I always schedule my workouts. I do so mainly in the mornings, but if my time is crunched I'll schedule it whenever the timeslot is available. Mind you, this is done even when I rest 4-5 hours the previous night, sometimes. Is this the best approach to implement your exercise? probably not. Yet the point here is simple: PRIORITIZE.
Scheduling your workouts and sticking to them is the BEST approach, mainly because you'll meet those times if you're committed. Nutrition should be treated the same way. Schedule your meals, snacks, even water breaks. Building these habits around your work schedule is essential, and the results will come if you stick to it. With the clients I work with, while some unfortunately let their limitations of work and other stresses push back their progress, I have others who has made remarkable progress in their weight loss and muscle building goals by sticking to their programs, and these clients are amongst the busiest individuals I know (surgeons, business owners, corporate CEO's, etc). So what I'm preaching here is simple: if they can do it, YOU CAN DO IT as well! No excuses.
You'll be amazed how implementing healthy habits will change your work ethic and overall life outlook. I have an "unnamed client" who works with me 5am 4-5 times a week. He runs a major federation that hosts events in the U.S. and overseas. This individual is BUSY. Yet, the amazing outcome: he's gaining muscle (which is his primary goal, 15 lbs of lean muscle in the past year), yet has several meetings and work quotas to meet on a daily basis, sometimes 16 hour workdays. This should tell you the importance of scheduling your exercise, meals, and rest times to balance out your work schedule. It works, trust me.
The truth when it comes to meeting goals (and this is coming from my 8+ years in this industry so far), is the fact that some want "it" more than others. You can easily see the commitment that career workers have while others will give up after a month, or are only "periodic". My advice to you is to stick to it. Write your workout days and times in your calendars. Stick to it and stick to your meal plan. If you get sidetracked (which can and will happen) get back to it the following day. Balance office life and exercise and you'll fee and look better. The results will show.